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Raising Amazing Children: Keep the Connection
Posted 10/12/2009

Sidran is pleased to announce the successful completion of the first round of Keep the Connection Workshops for Parents and other Caregivers. The workshops, held in 4 Baltimore City Public Schools, were supported by a generous grant from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. We are also excited to report that Baltimore Women's Giving Circle has committed to underwrite Keep the Connection Workshops for the 2009-10 school year! Thank you to the board of BWGC.

Each warm, non-judgmental, and supportive two-hour session in the eight-week program is based on topics covered in Sidran's acclaimed publication, 27 Secrets to Raising Amazing Children, by Molly Brown Koch. Ms. Koch, who has been facilitating parenting groups in the Baltimore area since the 1950s, has worked with parents affected by family abuse, urban and gang violence, destructive cults, and other extremely stressful circumstances.
The goal of the Keep the Connection program is to strengthen the family and especially the adult-child relationship. Strong family ties are the most effective way to prevent children from yielding to destructive influences, joining gangs, or being otherwise victimized. The program in Baltimore public schools encourages parents to become involved in school activities and in their children's education.
The struggles of daily living can easily distract parents from their highest goals for their children. As a result, they just react -- or overreact -- to their children's behaviors. Unfortunately, such reactions undermine their ability to help their children achieve their hopes and dreams. Keep the Connection is designed to bring out the parents' own high values and show parents how to apply them to their everyday interactions with their children.
What parents want most from their children is respect. But in order to give it, children need to experience it first; 27 Secrets to Raising Amazing Children is all about respect---what it is, what it is not, how to give it and how to get it. Beginning in infancy and throughout life, respect is one of the key steps to building close and lasting relationships. It can even mend broken relationships.
Keep the Connection workshop facilitators demonstrate the very values the parents hold dear, and the parents learn how to apply them in their relationships with their children. Parents in the groups receive the utmost respect, compassion, and understanding; as a result, they become capable of giving to their children what has been given to them. Additionally, they are equipped with new skills and insights and feel empowered by their self-respect and higher self-esteem. 
Parents who complete the eight-week program may become eligible to train as facilitators in their schools. Still limited to the pilot project in the Baltimore City Public Schools, we are excited by the prospect of teaching Keep the Connection to parents everywhere

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